Turkish food festival delights Pakistan


Weeklong festival offers Turkish food as part of celebrations marking 70 years of diplomatic relations with Islamabad

Two young ladies wearing traditional Turkish dress, welcomed guests with a smile during the weeklong Turkish food festival in Pakistan's capital Islamabad.

The food festival, organized by a local five-star hotel in collaboration with the Turkish Embassy, was inaugurated by Ambassador to Pakistan Sadik Babur Girgin on Aug. 18. It ended on Thursday.

"We are celebrating the 70 years of Turkey-Pakistan diplomatic relations and this food festival is part of that celebration, as Turkey established diplomatic relations with Pakistan soon after its creation," Girgin told reporters during the inaugural ceremony.

He said it was a great honor to bring the original taste and tradition of Turkey to Pakistan.

A wide variety of beautifully decorated of soups, mezze and kebabs were featured along with desserts. Seafood was also featured along with a counter serving made-to-order shawarmas.

According to the organizers, people of Islamabad and other cities turned up in impressive number at the food festival. A considerable number of foreigners living in Islamabad were also among the attendees.

"We had a wonderful response concerning the Turkish Food Festival. Guest turnover was really nice. People love to try new food and the desserts were so amazing. The chefs have done a marvelous job and the performers kept the environment lively," Noor Ul An Khan, one of the organizers said.

The guests not only enjoyed Turkish food but were also entertained by Turkish musicians, who added magic to the festival the entire week, thanks to folk instruments such as the divan saz and cello.

"There is no doubt, Turkish food is very delicious and I like it very much," Sarfaraz Ahmed, a Pakistan International Airline (PIA) pilot told Anadolu Agency.

"Everywhere in the world when I land and want to eat something, always my first priority is to find Turkish food," Ahmed added.

Currently, there are very few Turkish food restaurants in Pakistan -- only in certain big cities like Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad.

"I came here from Peshawar, a northwestern city of Pakistan, just to look at the Turkish food as we have no restaurant in our city and I plan to establish a Turkish food restaurant in Peshawar," Jahangir Khan, a local hotelier told Anadolu Agency.

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